seaking advise integrating 2 pullets to a flock of 16 hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aldarita, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2012
    Brenham TX
    My 2 pullets will be ready to be integrated the first week in October which is when they will turn 4 months old. They have been living in their own coop and "free ranging" in about 500 square feet everyday. I want to move them with the rest of the flock. There is a fence dividing their areas and the flock has been interacting with them for several weeks now. The flock lives in 2 coops (one has 11 hens and the other has 5) both coops are connected to a long 48 x 12 feet run which gets closed every night. Early in the morning everybody gets out to free range in half an acre until roosting time.
    I plan to let the 2 pullets out of their enclosure and let them run with the rest of the flock under my supervision, the part that I have not worked out yet is what to do at night. I am pretty sure the pullets will want to roost in the coop they have been sleeping in for weeks, but I really want to integrate them by making them sleep in either one of the other two coops. I can close the run with them inside and let them sort out which coop to go to but I guess there are going to be fights. Is there any way I can make it easy for them to fit in either coop?
    I even though about bringing them in at night when everybody is sleeping but they won't learn to get there this way. Any ideas???
     
  2. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I move birds from one coop to another on a fairly regular basis. Two of my coops are within sight of each other through some thin woods. I take birds out of one and put them in the other one at night. I put them on the lowest roost and go to bed. They generally hang out inside that coop the next day (I have an automatic door that opens at 6am) then venture out a little the second day. By day three, they have a new home and new coop-mates. I have not had any problems doing it this way and never had a bird go back to the other coop. The two flocks even free range at the same time but do not intermingle.
     
  3. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you much for sharing your experience, it seems like it has worked for you so I am willing to give it a try. I will get my two pullets and move them at night to the big coop. I will watch what happens in the morning.
     
  4. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    If you find that you have a bully among your older hens, separate her, not the new girls. A day or two in isolation will knock her down a couple of pegs and give her something to think about other than the new kids on the block.

    I think I would also move two from the coop with 11 birds to the other coop along with the two young ones. Assuming the coops are the same size. That will give you nine in each coop and more than just the two new ones to deal with the older biddies.

    You could also separate them into two brand new groups and really mix things up.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    When I move new pullets in with the big girls, I put them in an enclosed fence like the one below inside the coop for 24/7 for close to a week. The one below can be reversed to have the narrow bars at the bottom. Netting over the top keep pullet in, and hens out. Then I open the gate, and they eventually start roosting . It may be too hot to do that in Texas right now though.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last time I integrated I did what you are suggesting (back at the end of Spring) it worked like a charm, now everybody is running around together, this integration was of 6 pullets so I guess the bigger the group, the better it works. Yeah, you are right, it is still too hot to keep them in the coop, I guess at this point I will follow the advise of bringing them in at night and hope for the best. I am counting on them seeing each other every day thru the gate for several weeks will help so they won't be completely new, although I am aware they still have to fit in the pecking order.
     
  7. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2012
    Brenham TX
    [​IMG]
    This is the coop where I have 11 girls at this moment. It is 12 x 10 (pic was taken before I moved the girls in). 5 of them are 16 months old and 6 are 5 months old. My 5 older hens are 2 and a half years old and their coop is 4 x 8. I guess I can still add some girls in the small coop but it might be a little crowded
    .[​IMG]
    I have plenty of ventilation as you can see in this pic, however the radiant heat at night is miserable so I figure the more space they have it will be better for them.
     

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